For two years, the Covid-19 outbreak held up the operation of a butterfly sanctuary manned by Dante P. Jumapit of Sitio Cabilao, Cangomantong, Lazi, Siquijor. No foreign tourists. No local tourists. No income.
Mr. Jumapit, however, would not give up for its recovery. Butterflies have become his passion. He was not yet intent to turn his investment of time, money, and effort into the mercy of circumstance.
As early as the third quarter of 2021, he took a bold step of asking help from Engr. Mario E. de la Peńa of DOST Siquijor PSTC. Upon a finding of legitimacy and viability of his proposal, DOST VII likewise approved it under Grant-in-Aid arrangement. Eventually last January of 2022, DOST awarded a check to Mr. Jumapit.
Engr. Mario E. de la Peńa said: “I came to know Mr. Jumapit as a passionate and industrious individual in the pursuit of this butterfly project. This has been his dream and knowing that DOST could offer help to him, I never hesitated to support for its rehabilitation. In the past years, there has already been an account that the province of Siquijor has its own endemic specie called Siquijorana. On that premise, there is a need to look for its propagation, and surely, he would do a great job with it.”
Essentially, DOST takes the lead in fostering an innovation culture within a community. Mr. Jumapit’s butterfly sanctuary is one permutation of such, and in the process, it serves as an educational conservation center that promotes scientific value of biodiversity and its preservation. The other side of the coin remains its practical window for tourism opportunity.
Mr. Jumapit said: “Dako nako nga kalipay nga natabangan gyud ko og ang akong pamilya nga mapadayon namo among nasugdan nga pagpalambo sa among butterfly sanctuary. Dili gyud nako ni makalimtan ang pag-unong sa DOST para sa ako damgo.” (I am more than grateful and my family to have received an intervention in sustaining our butterfly sanctuary. I will not forget the graciousness of DOST in making my dream alive.”
As of this writing, Mr. Jumapit’s butterfly sanctuary is now open for local and foreign tourists alike. Your 100-peso entrance is worth your time in a 200-square-meter butterfly habitat where over 20 species of butterflies frolick inside the gardens of flowers. (by: Jose Aldous Rubi Arbon II)